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The Internet of Things has grown in popularity over the previous few decades. It has converted robots into lifelike assets, and its influence is expanding by the day. Today, communication gadgets outnumber humans, and they make our lives more convenient and intelligent than ever before. So, if you're thinking of developing an IoT app and want to know how much it will cost, this article is for you.

Furthermore, research forecasts that by 2025, there will be around 21 billion linked gadgets. However, this isn't the only reason that IoT app development is growing in popularity; there are other reasons as well. It emphasizes every aspect of the cost of producing an IoT app.

Market Statistics of IoT App Development

  • In the next years, 65 percent of marketers feel that firms that do not have IoT-based apps would fall behind.
  • According to Gartner, there will be around 20 billion connected devices in 2020, which will more than quadruple by 2024-25.
  • Approximately 95% of decision-makers anticipate their companies to use IoT applications by the end of 2025.
  • The base installation for 5G IoT endpoints was 3.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach 49 billion by 2024.
  • By 2025, the number of internet-connected devices is expected to reach 28 billion.
  • These figures demonstrate the ever-increasing need for high-quality IoT applications, as well as their relevance in driving company development and productivity. So, now that you know why you should go into IoT mobile app development, let's get started.

Most Significant Applications Of IoT By Industry 

  • IoT apps For the Retail Sector

IoT apps have a promising future in the retail business. Retailers are investing in IoT solutions, namely to track and manage the supply chain and inventory operations.The need for IoT-powered mobile apps for supply chain management tracking is increasing. Retailers can remotely monitor and measure certain areas of supply chain activities. Such an automated procedure will assure high-level security, lower operating costs, and improve business outcomes.

On the other hand, IoT is rapidly being integrated into the creation of mobile apps to track and manage stocks. Warehouse management or inventory management software based on IoT tracks stock levels digitally, assisting shops in balancing demand and supply and improving sales outcomes.

  •  IoT Mobile Apps For Smart Home Automation

One of the key reasons for the increased demand for IoT mobile app development is smart home automation. Sensor-enabled smart home gadgets make people's lives more pleasant, convenient, easy, and intelligent. The incorporation of IoT in mobile apps allows users to operate all compatible smart home gadgets, such as LEDs, cameras, refrigerators, and so on, while on the road.

Here's a popular IoT app that allows users to control smart home devices from afar.

Amazon Alexa is an intelligence program that uses voice commands to operate smart home products. Users may use the Alexa mobile app to control switches, thermostats, and any Alexa-enabled smart electrical home products.

Applications Of IoT Technology For Healthcare Apps Development

IoT technology is quickly becoming a critical component of the healthcare app development market. IoT integration is becoming common in fitness applications, wearables, and other patient monitoring apps.

Yes. The development of IoT-based mobile apps for tracking and monitoring health is a market trend. As a result, the future of IoT mobile apps for smartwatches or wearables seems promising.

Leading enterprise-level software development firms, for example, are already on their way to providing futuristic IoT apps for wearables to measure pulse rate, body temperature, calories burned, sleep quality, steps walked, and so on. This information provided by sensor-equipped wearables is easily accessible via IoT smartphone apps.

What is the typical cost to build an Internet of Things app?

A typical Internet of Things app costs $20,167 to develop. The entire cost, however, might be as little as $5,000 or as high as $35,000. An Internet of Things app with fewer functionalities (also known as a "minimum viable product," or MVP) will be less expensive than an app with all planned capabilities.

For example, these are some current Crowdbotics Internet of Things app price quotes:

$27,500

$23,000

$10,000

However, the cost of IoT mobile app development or solution will be determined by a number of factors, including:

  • Types of applications that are long with the complicity
  • The cost of IoT app development is determined by the number of developers on your app application development team.
  • Depends on how long it takes to design, create, test, and post-develop an IoT app.
  • The cost of developing a mobile application varies depending on where you live. As an example:
  • South-East Asian custom mobile app development firms would charge between $20 and $40 per hour.
  • A mobile app development business in Eastern Europe will charge between $30 and $50.
  • The top mobile app development business in India would charge between $50 and $25 per hour.

IoT mobile application development is becoming popular due to the rising demand for IoT-based mobile apps from organizations across sectors. IoT app development has a promising future in areas such as automotive, healthcare, and smart home automation, as well as security.

 

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The Internet of Things is one of the technologies making yesterday’s science fiction the reality of today. It will act as a force multiplier for digitization and can potentially transform the world into a smart one - smart cities, smart vehicles, smart manufacturing, smart homes, and many others. According to IDC, spending on IoT by businesses and other entities is going to reach $1 trillion in 2022. Further, out of the projected connected devices of 29 billion by 2022, around 18 billion are expected to be related to IoT. And the data generated by these devices will be to the tune of 73.1 zettabytes by 2025.

In other words, ignoring the penetration of IoT across domains and not investing in its vast sweep could be detrimental to the competitiveness of business enterprises in the future. Even though the IoT will continue on its upward trajectory in use cases and device numbers, enterprises should take into account the challenges related to interoperability and security. Let us discuss the top IoT predictions that IoT testing services, or for that matter, the CIOs of enterprises, should acknowledge and incorporate in their value chain.

Top IoT Forecasts for CIOs to Recognize

As a smart technology, the Internet of Things is going to change the landscape of the digital world. The top IoT forecasts for the years to come are mentioned below:

# AI-based IoT data analysis: With IoT being adopted as a frontline technology by most organizations, there will be a need to gather, store, process, and analyze huge amounts of data generated by it. This is where AI-based data analysis will take over from traditional analysis wherein data mined by IoT devices will be analyzed for known patterns to draw insights about various aspects of an organization. AI is going to be applied to a host of IoT-generated data in the form of still images, video, speech, text, and network traffic activities. This should drive the CIOs of business enterprises to implement the necessary skills and tools to leverage AI in their IoT testing approach.

# IoT with legal, social, and ethical dimensions: With the increased adoption of IoT across business segments, a wide range of social, ethical, and legal issues may come to the fore. These may include privacy, regulatory compliance, algorithmic bias, and ownership of data, among others. In fact, the success of any IoT solution should not be based on its technical prowess or effectiveness alone, but on social acceptability as well. Hence, CIOs should review their corporate strategy, IoT and AI systems, and key algorithms by external agencies for any potential bias. In doing so, they may include external IoT testing services to not only validate the technical aspects of such systems but their social, ethical, and legal dimensions as well.

# Data broking and infonomics: According to a Gartner survey, businesses are going to include the buying and selling of IoT data as an essential part of their strategy. As per the theory of infonomics, the monetization of IoT data will be treated as a strategic asset by businesses and included in their accounts. CIOs should educate their staff on the opportunities and risks pertaining to data broking and set the appropriate IT policies, including incorporating mandatory IoT testing in the value chain.

# Transition from Intelligent Edge to Intelligent Mesh: The transition from cloud to edge architectures in the IoT space is underway and is likely to give way to a more unstructured architecture in the form of a dynamic mesh. The mesh architectures will lead to more intelligent, responsive, and flexible IoT systems, but with additional complexities. As a result, CIOs must prepare their organisations for the impact of mesh architectures on IoT systems. Consequently, the focus of the Internet of Things QA testing should be to ensure every aspect of the IoT and mesh architecture performs as desired.

# IoT Governance: With the expansion of the IoT space, a proper setup for governance, including an IoT testing framework, should be instituted. This is to ensure appropriate behavior in the generation, storage, deletion, and usage of IoT-related data. IoT governance would entail device audits, control of devices, firmware updates, and the usage of information delivered, among others. CIOs must educate their organizations on issues related to IoT governance.

Conclusion 

The Internet of Things will continue to expand and play an important role for business enterprises in areas such as data mining, analysis, and management, decision-making, privacy, security, and others. CIOs must make their enteprises ready to leverage the opportunities offered by the IoT as well as set up proper architectures, including IoT security testing, to mitigate any associated risks.

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The Internet of Things is one of the technologies making yesterday’s science fiction the reality of today. It will act as a force multiplier for digitization and can potentially transform the world into a smart one - smart cities, smart vehicles, smart manufacturing, smart homes, and many others. According to IDC, spending on IoT by businesses and other entities is going to reach $1 trillion in 2022. Further, out of the projected connected devices of 29 billion by 2022, around 18 billion are expected to be related to IoT. And the data generated by these devices will be to the tune of 73.1 zettabytes by 2025.

In other words, ignoring the penetration of IoT across domains and not investing in its vast sweep could be detrimental to the competitiveness of business enterprises in the future. Even though the IoT will continue on its upward trajectory in use cases and device numbers, enterprises should take into account the challenges related to interoperability and security. Let us discuss the top IoT predictions that IoT testing services, or for that matter, the CIOs of enterprises, should acknowledge and incorporate in their value chain.

Top IoT Forecasts for CIOs to Recognize

As a smart technology, the Internet of Things is going to change the landscape of the digital world. The top IoT forecasts for the years to come are mentioned below:

# AI-based IoT data analysis: With IoT being adopted as a frontline technology by most organizations, there will be a need to gather, store, process, and analyze huge amounts of data generated by it. This is where AI-based data analysis will take over from traditional analysis wherein data mined by IoT devices will be analyzed for known patterns to draw insights about various aspects of an organization. AI is going to be applied to a host of IoT-generated data in the form of still images, video, speech, text, and network traffic activities. This should drive the CIOs of business enterprises to implement the necessary skills and tools to leverage AI in their IoT testing approach.

# IoT with legal, social, and ethical dimensions: With the increased adoption of IoT across business segments, a wide range of social, ethical, and legal issues may come to the fore. These may include privacy, regulatory compliance, algorithmic bias, and ownership of data, among others. In fact, the success of any IoT solution should not be based on its technical prowess or effectiveness alone, but on social acceptability as well. Hence, CIOs should review their corporate strategy, IoT and AI systems, and key algorithms by external agencies for any potential bias. In doing so, they may include external IoT testing services to not only validate the technical aspects of such systems but their social, ethical, and legal dimensions as well.

# Data broking and infonomics: According to a Gartner survey, businesses are going to include the buying and selling of IoT data as an essential part of their strategy. As per the theory of infonomics, the monetization of IoT data will be treated as a strategic asset by businesses and included in their accounts. CIOs should educate their staff on the opportunities and risks pertaining to data broking and set the appropriate IT policies, including incorporating mandatory IoT testing in the value chain.

# Transition from Intelligent Edge to Intelligent Mesh: The transition from cloud to edge architectures in the IoT space is underway and is likely to give way to a more unstructured architecture in the form of a dynamic mesh. The mesh architectures will lead to more intelligent, responsive, and flexible IoT systems, but with additional complexities. As a result, CIOs must prepare their organisations for the impact of mesh architectures on IoT systems. Consequently, the focus of the Internet of Things QA testing should be to ensure every aspect of the IoT and mesh architecture performs as desired.

# IoT Governance: With the expansion of the IoT space, a proper setup for governance, including an IoT testing framework, should be instituted. This is to ensure appropriate behavior in the generation, storage, deletion, and usage of IoT-related data. IoT governance would entail device audits, control of devices, firmware updates, and the usage of information delivered, among others. CIOs must educate their organizations on issues related to IoT governance.

Conclusion 

The Internet of Things will continue to expand and play an important role for business enterprises in areas such as data mining, analysis, and management, decision-making, privacy, security, and others. CIOs must make their enteprises ready to leverage the opportunities offered by the IoT as well as set up proper architectures, including IoT security testing, to mitigate any associated risks.

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There have been various innovations that have caused a stir in the healthcare business. As we have Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Augmented Reality technologies. As a result, you see their applications in every field or business, however, some of them are just overhyped or gimmicks.

However, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the most thriving technology, and IoT in healthcare has brought in a plethora of applications that are more than simply gimmicks and are actually pretty beneficial. Aside from the healthcare industry, there is a high need for IoT developers in general. Businesses in a variety of industries, including healthcare, are investing heavily in IoT app development. Let's take a look at how IoT is progressing in the healthcare business.

 

The benefits of IoT in healthcare are:

1) Simultaneous Reporting and Monitoring

Real-time monitoring through linked devices has the potential to save a million lives in the case of a medical emergency such as heart failure, diabetes, asthma attacks, and so on. Connected devices can acquire relevant medical and health-related data by monitoring the state in real-time using a smart medical gadget connected to a smartphone app.

 The linked IoT gadget captures and transmits health data such as blood pressure, oxygen, and blood sugar levels, as well as weight and ECGs. The data is kept in the cloud and can be shared with an authorized individual according to the sharing access authorization.

 Furthermore, the mentioned individual may be a physician, an insurance company, a participating health firm, or an external consultant, and it will allow them to check into the situation.

2)  Data Assortment and Analysis

Managing a large volume of data is not as simple as it seems for healthcare practitioners. Data acquired in real-time by IoT-enabled mobile devices may be evaluated and separated using IoT-powered mobility solutions.

This will lower the amount of raw data collected while also enabling crucial healthcare analytics and data-driven insights, which will eventually reduce mistakes and speed up decision-making.

3.)Tracking and Alerts

In life-threatening situations, real-time tracking and alerts can be a lifesaver by protecting a crucial patient's health with continual notifications and real-time alerts for proper monitoring, analysis, and diagnosis. IoT-powered healthcare mobility solutions provide real-time tracking, alerting, and monitoring.

This allows for hands-on treatments, more precision, and appropriate intervention by doctors, thereby enhancing the overall patient care delivery results.

4.) Remote Medical Assistance

In the case of an emergency, users may use smart smartphone applications to call a doctor who is thousands of kilometers away. With mobility solutions in healthcare, doctors may check on patients and diagnose illnesses while they are on the road.

Furthermore, various IoT-based healthcare delivery chains are planning to construct machines that may administer medications based on a patient's prescription and ailment-related data available via connected devices. IoT will improve hospital patient care. As a result, people's healthcare costs will be reduced.

 

What are the challenges of IoT in healthcare?

1) Data Security and Privacy:

Data Security and Privacy are two of the most serious concerns that IoT faces. IoT-enabled mobile devices collect data in real-time, however, the majority of them do not follow data protocols and standards.

There is a great deal of uncertainty around data ownership and regulation. As a result, data held within IoT-enabled devices are vulnerable to data theft, making the data more vulnerable to hackers who can hack into the system and jeopardize sensitive health information.

Fraudulent health claims and the production of phony IDs for purchasing and selling pharmaceuticals are two instances of how IoT device data is being misused.

2) Data Overload and Accuracy:

It is difficult to total information for essential bits of knowledge and inquiry due to the inconsistency of information and correspondence protocols. IoT collects information in large quantities, and for proper information inquiry, the information should be isolated in parts without overburdening and with accurate accuracy for better results. Furthermore, overburdening of information may have an effect on the dynamic cycle in the accommodation area in the long term.

3) Cost

This point is probably not surprising to you. Costs are one of the most significant challenges when considering IoT application development for medical services flexible setups. In any event, the costs are well worth the effort if the IoT implementation addresses a genuine need.

While establishing an IoT application will cost you a lot of money and assets, the benefits will be significant when your company saves time and labor, all while further expanding the business processes, providing additional income streams, and opening up more business opportunities through IoT.

Applications of IoT in healthcare

The growth of IoT is fascinating for everyone because of its diverse range of applications in numerous industries. It has numerous applications in healthcare. Here are some notable Internet of Things (IoT) applications in healthcare: 

IoT applications in healthcare are intended not just for healthcare facilities, but also for patients! In a nutshell, IoT in healthcare accomplishes the following tasks:

  • reducing the length of time people have to wait at the emergency department
  • Keeping track of patients, employees, and inventory
  • Improving Drug Management
  • ensuring crucial hardware availability

IoT has also offered a number of wearables and devices that have made patients' lives easier. These are the gadgets listed below.

Wearables:

Nowadays, wearables are Bluetooth-enabled, allowing them to connect with your smartphone.

It gives you the ability to filter, equalize, and layer real-world sounds. Doppler Labs is the best illustration of this.

Ingestible sensors:

Ingestible sensors are truly a miracle of contemporary science. These are pill-sized sensors that monitor the medicine in our bodies and alert us if any anomalies are detected.

These sensors can aid diabetic patients by reducing symptoms and providing an early warning of significant health risks. One such example is Proteus Digital Health.

Moodables:

Moodables are mood-enhancing items that help us feel better throughout the day. It may seem like science fiction, but it's not that far off. Thync and Halo Neurosciences have already begun working on it and have made significant progress. Moodables are head-mounted wearables that deliver low-intensity electricity to the brain, therefore elevating our mood.

Computer Vision Technology:

PC Vision Technology, in conjunction with Artificial Intelligence, has resulted in drone innovation, which intends to replicate visual understanding in order to empower dynamic in view of it.

Drones like Skydio employ PC vision technologies to detect obstacles and navigate around them. This invention has also greatly aided externally disadvantaged folks in exploring effectively.

IoT-fueled gadgets lessen a significant part of the manual work. For example, a specialist needs to utilize IoT gadgets during patient graphing. Here, IoT sensors can gauge a wide range of od information, for example, circulatory strain, internal heat level, and so forth, and diagram everything into an application associated with estimation gadgets through IoT.

Furthermore, it makes the patient's information promptly available for audit. Such an IoT application could set aside to 15 hours/seven day stretch of a specialist's manual outlining.

 

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Automation has become the buzzword these days, with business enterprises going about adopting newer technologies to be competitive and profitable. The Internet of Things, or IoT, is one such technology that has the potential to transform the way we perceive and act upon things - such as driving a car using smart IoT technology. The technology has been adopted on a large scale, especially in industrial applications, as a means to digitally transform processes and derive a host of benefits. These include reducing effort and cost, achieving speed, accuracy, higher productivity, and efficiency. The growing fascination for such devices is driving the market crazy with a valuation of $520 billion.  Furthermore, IoT technology is expected to receive up to $1 trillion in investments by 2022 (Source: research.aimultiple.com).

All said and done, the downside to the breakneck speed at which IoT is being adopted across the board is the neglect of security considerations. Business enterprises, in their zeal to adopt IoT technology to drive digital transformation, do not always give the security of such devices and the network on which they operate enough attention. This leaves these devices with vulnerabilities, which have the potential to be exploited by cybercriminals to cause data breaches with dire consequences for all stakeholders. Let us understand the IoT and how to strengthen its security.

Understanding IoT 

The Internet of Things comprises everyday devices that are interconnected through the internet or other wireless networks and can be controlled remotely. Everyday devices are fitted with sensors and microchips that can send or receive data over the internet. This creates the possibility of these devices being controlled remotely. The use of IoT in physical areas like homes, cars, offices, and even cities has a transformational effect in terms of turning them smart. For instance, your alarm clock can read the calendar and sets itself up to buzz at the right time.

Why is IoT security important? 

The world is poised to move into a “smart” ecosystem where automation, in all likelihood, is going to change our lives for the better. However, given that the internet or any wireless network is the carrier for IoT “signals”, cybercriminals can hack into the devices or networks and cause havoc. For instance, hackers can penetrate the IoT network of any company to cause system downtime or spy on homeowners to garner crucial information. Since billions of devices are connected to the IoT network, it is important to develop and comply with security standards to prevent tampering or breaches. Let us understand how IoT security testing can help in establishing such a secure ecosystem.

Protecting IoT devices and networks from cyber attacks

As companies develop new products with IoT capabilities, consumers are simply lapping them up. However, this increases the possibility of cyber-attacks on such devices. Let us understand how the Internet of Things QA testing for security can prevent such attacks.

IoT penetration testing: In this type of IoT testing methodology, the QA testers try to penetrate the IoT network and devices by exploiting the inherent vulnerabilities with full knowledge of the management. With IoT penetration testing, QA testers check the security of such devices and find out the vulnerabilities as they continue to operate in the real world. It helps stakeholders understand the types of vulnerabilities or glitches existing in the IoT system and how they can be exploited by real threat actors. After knowing the vulnerabilities through IoT security testing, the loopholes are plugged, thereby strengthening the security of the IoT system and making it virtually impregnable.

Threat modeling: This IoT testing approach helps determine the threat model for the IoT system and how it can be breached. For instance, if an IoT-enabled camera is installed to monitor a house or spy on people within a specific distance, it can be breached by a hacker to gain access to the images captured by the camera. With threat modeling, the vulnerability that allowed the hacker to gain access to the camera is eliminated.

Firmware analysis: Firmware is a type of software that is used in embedded devices like sensors to execute a dedicated function. It can be found on devices such as routers, smart appliances, or medical devices. As with any other software, firmware can contain vulnerabilities or bugs that can be exploited by cybercriminals. Firmware analysis is a type of IoT testing approach that looks for security issues such as buffer overflows, backdoors, and others.

Best practices to secure the IoT devices or systems

No matter how robust the security of IoT systems is, if the people operating the devices are not thorough with the security protocols, hackers can gain entry into the systems. The best practices to be followed to keep the IoT systems secure are listed below:

  • Change default credentials frequently and use strong passwords
  • Implement a VPN with strong encryption to transmit and store data
  • Perform IoT security testing frequently
  • Change default router settings
  • Disconnect devices when not in use
  • Do not use Universal Plug and Play
  • Update firmware regularly

Conclusion  

With the rapid growth of IoT systems, businesses should turn their focus to securing these devices from any unauthorized access. They should be thoroughly assessed to identify and mitigate any security vulnerabilities in the code. Even though IoT technology has the potential to transform our lives for the better, it is critical to understand that it can have security risks as well. It is only by implementing IoT device testing solutions in the value chain that businesses can ensure the protection of data from falling into the wrong hands.  

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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In the age of hyper-connectivity, the Internet of Things (IoT) technology has provided countless innovators the opportunity to build software and hardware for different purposes — from medical smart devices and manufacturing to smart cities and homes. 

According to Statista, 15.9 billion connected devices will be connected worldwide by 2030. The global IoT spending will reach $1.1 trillion the same year. However, the growing number of IoT apps has also increased the amount spent by businesses to recall defective IoT devices.

You see, developing an IoT device is the only step towards ensuring its longevity. It is also essential to conduct proper QA testing to ensure the IoT software is strong enough to withstand security threats, performance malfunction, and connectivity issues. 

Your IoT device should work collaboratively and deliver value to the business as intended at the end of the day. In this article, we will discuss the definition, benefits, process, and types of IoT testing. But first, let us start with the basics: 

What is IoT testing? 

The general IoT network connectivity comprises four core layers, including the physical layer (sensors and controllers), network layer (gateways and communication units), data management layer (local or cloud services at the backend), and the application layer (software for user interaction). 

Since data is heavily transmitted from one object to another over the Internet in the ecosystem, it is vital to verify that your electronic devices can exchange sensitive information easily before the market launch and throughout their lifecycle. 

That is why all successful IoT businesses rely on automation, penetration, and performance testing tools to spot any defect in the IoT device before it reaches the hands of end customers.  

IoT testing is the practice of conducting QA tests to validate the performance, minimize security issues, and boost the functionality of an IoT device. It broadly revolves around device networks, operating systems, security, analytics, platforms, and standards. 

QA testers trace and associate software releases and cycles, test cases and scripts, look for defects, test executions, and gather other requirements. The complexity and variability of IoT testing make planning a crucial aspect of the process. 

The significant benefits of IoT testing 

QA engineers and developers can provide better  service offerings by employing IoT automation testing in their general practices with the right plan and purpose in place. These are the benefits that they can plan to see with IoT testing: 

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1. Faster time-to-market 

IoT testing ensures that businesses can launch their safe and approved IoT products in the market by leveraging automation. 

2. Business future-proofing 

IoT testing offers an integrated approach for validating IoT platforms' practical and non-functional testing requirements. The practice future-proofs the business by enabling higher interoperability and security with performance testing tools. In the end, you can deliver safer solutions and, therefore, be a better prospect for consumers. 

3. New business opportunities 

Testing the IoT solutions speeds up innovation with less risk and without delaying the response time or using too many resources. With set testing processes, businesses can experiment much more freely with IoT products in the market with minimal human intervention. 

IoT testing framework 

Given the complexity of IoT solutions, check all layers separately, verify the entire system's operation, and determine the interoperability level of several layers. Please refer to a robust testing framework to ensure the testing is done properly across all software versions. Some fundamental features that should be a part of the framework are listed below: 

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1. Performance testing 

It is essential to strategically approach the development and implementation of an IoT testing plan. That is why measure the IoT app's performance metrics such as throughput, CPU utilization, latency, and so on. Validate the stability of the entire app's functioning under changing operational and network conditions such as intermittent failures. 

2. Security testing 

Testing how safe and secure an IoT app functions is paramount. After all, many users access a massive amount of data all the time. You must, therefore, have data privacy controls and validate users via authentication as a part of your security testing processes. 

3. Compatibility testing 

Multiple devices are connected in a typical IoT ecosystem with different software and hardware configurations. Please ensure your IoT product is highly compatible with different tools and platforms for its smooth functioning. 

Use data recorders, for instance, to check out how the recorded data plays across different device end-points automatically and freely. 

4. Device interoperability 

IoT testing ensures that the end customers have a state-of-the-art user experience across multiple channels such as web apps and mobile devices. 

Visualize the required use cases and arrange the testing process. For instance, all layers should be checked for security and functioning separately. Then deploy APIs to review the application and data management layers. Test the physical and network layers for compatibility. 

Seven types of testing tools 

To execute a wide range of IoT tests at the staging phase, use the right automation, visualization, simulation, and measurement tools. Here are the different IoT testing tools that can make a ton of difference to how you approach the process: 

1. Device or protocol simulators 

As the name suggests, these IoT testing tools are often simulated in large numbers and configured to map the required real-time scenarios. The simulators are standards-compliant and support numerous IoT protocols in format testing processes. 

2. Record and playback test automation tools 

These tools are multi-purpose as QA testing teams find them useful in many test scenarios. The assessment involves recording a user's actions and matching objects behind the scenes to identify which units of code are routinely used and how. In this type of testing, a coded test script file is generated, which the QA engineers replay as is. 

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3. Mobile testing tools 

These IoT testing tools offer automated functional mobile testing, replicating customer experience and ensuring the IoT app works as expected. 

4. API testing tools 

Integrate an automated API testing tool with your continuous integration pipeline for improving your IoT app's codebase quality. Detect bugs early on in the IoT app development lifecycle with end-user application testing. 

5. Visualization tools 

The real-time validation of the IoT application is difficult and time-consuming. Introducing IoT data visualization tools can help finish the development process faster with minimal dependence in the real-time environment. 

That is because they initiate the cost-friendly and timely execution of compatibility tests without making any hefty investments in the hardware, browsers, platform services, operating systems, and so on. 

6. Automated deployment tools 

Automation testing tools help create virtual machines on the cloud or on-premise for rapidly commissioning managed services and configuring and deploying customized applications and services. Improve speed, productivity, and effectiveness of quality over execution. 

7. Security testing tools 

These can be categorized as static code analysis, threat modeling, and run-time threat-inducing. Unearth vulnerabilities, prioritize them, and offer recommendations on how to fix them with the help of security testing tools. 

The ultimate IoT testing process 

An IoT setup deploys various software testing approaches that are slightly different from the regular QA practices for validating IoT apps. Here is what a typical IoT testing process looks like: 

1. Lay the groundwork with the help of QA engineers 

Assign a QA testing team while the specifications for the IoT application are being decided. Having them on board at the beginning will help them choose how often the IoT development team will need to collaborate with the QA engineers to prioritize relevant test cases, enable regressing testing, and efficiently manage defects. 

They will also confirm the IoT testing risks and design an overall risk mitigation plan for your IoT app development project. Taking the QA team's help ensures proper test automation frameworks and configuration to address quality issues and whatnot. 

2. Prepare for IoT app testing 

Even when the QA team has designed a comprehensive testing strategy, they are still required to regularly revise and update the test artifacts. It would help if you also had a balanced combination of manual and automated testing to make sure the IoT app is error-free and to avoid data- and time-intensive repetitive test cases execution. 

Prepare for conducting different types of testing, including conducting usability testing, simulating sensors, verifying data integrity, determining the end-to-end workflows of the entire IoT application, and flawless communication between various IoT app components with their tech stack compatibility. 

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3. Select a vendor for outsourced IoT testing 

If you do not wish to carry out the function in-house, consider outsourcing as it proves to be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time staff. Plus, you have access to a greater talent pool and technological expertise. IoT testing becomes hassle-free. To select a fitting vendor of automation testing tools, please do the following: 

  • Shortlist vendors with successful IoT testing projects in your sector. 
  • Create a comprehensive request for proposal which includes your IoT solution's specific requirements. 
  • Consider their existing tech stack and human resources, so you do not get stuck in the middle of running tests. 
  • Understand their approach to an IoT testing strategy, testing toolkit, the planned test automation, and so on. 

4. Launch your IoT tests 

Once you have figured out your resources, it is time to design test cases and build test scripts. Check the end-to-end functioning of the IoT product by creating an IoT test lab with the help of service visualization tools. These labs serve as the digital portfolio for experimenting and simulating real-time experiences that fuel more innovative automation testing tools. 

Over to you 

IoT solutions can be challenging to develop, manage and test given the multiple components and interactions between them. It is, therefore, necessary to monitor the performance of the app more closely with automation testing tools. A thorough testing process ensures a quality IoT product and high customer satisfaction. So, how do you plan to get started with IoT testing?

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What is an Outlier?
 
Put simply, an outlier is a piece of data or observation that differs drastically from a given norm.
 
In the image above, the red fish is an outlier. Clearly differing by color, but also by size, shape, and more obviously direction. As such, the analysis of detecting outliers in data fall into two categories: univariate, and multivariate
  • Univariate: considering a single variable
  • Multivariate: considering multiple variables
 
Outlier Detection in Industrial IoT
 
In Industrial IoT use cases, outlier detection can be instrumental in specific use cases such as understanding the health of your machine. Instead of looking at characteristics of a fish like above, we are looking at characteristics of a machine via data such as sensor readings.
 
The goal is to learn what normal operation looks like where outliers are abnormal activity indicative of a future problem.
 
Statistical Approach to Outlier Detection
Statistics - Normal Distribution 
Statistical/probability based approaches date back centuries. You may recall back the bell curve. The values of your dataset plot to a distribution. In simplest terms, you calculate the mean and standard deviation of that distribution. You then can plot the location of x standard deviations from the mean and anything that falls beyond that is an outlier.
 
A simple example to explore using this approach is outside air temperature. Looking at the low temperature in Boston for the month of January from 2008-2018 we find an average temperature of ~23 degrees F with a standard deviation of ~9.62 degrees. Plotting out 2 standard deviations results in the following.
 
 
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Interpreting the chart above, any temperature above the gray line or below the yellow can be considered outside the range of normal...or an outlier.
 
Why do we need AI?
If we just showed that you can determine outliers using simple statistics, then why do we need AI at all? The answer depends on the type of outlier analysis.
 
Why AI for Univariate Analysis?
In the example above, we successfully analyzed outliers in weather looking at a single variable: temperature.
 
So, why should we complicate things by introducing AI to the equation? The answer has to do with the distribution of your data. You can run univariate analysis using statistical measures, but in order for the results to be accurate, it is assumed that the distribution of your data is "normal". In other words, it needs to fit to the shape of a bell curve (like the left image below).
 
However, in the real world, and specifically in industrial use cases, the resulting sensor data is not perfectly normal (like the right image below).
 6 ways to test for a Normal Distribution — which one to use? | by Joos  Korstanje | Towards Data Science
As a result, statistical analysis on a non-normal dataset would result in more false positives and false negatives.
 
The Need for AI
AI-based methods on the other hand, do not require a normal distribution and finds patterns in the data that result in much higher accuracy. In the case of the weather in Boston, getting the forecast slightly wrong does not have a huge impact. However, in industries such as rail, oil and gas, and industrial equipment, trust in the accuracy of your results has a long lasting impact. An impact that can only be achieved by AI.
 
Why AI for Multivariate Analysis?
The case for AI in a multivariate analysis is a bit more straight forward. Effectively, when we are looking at a single variable we can easily plot the results on a plane such as the temperature chart or the normal and non-normal distribution charts above.
 
However, if we are analyzing multiple points, such as the current, voltage and wattage of a motor, or vibration over 3 axis, or the return temp and discharge temp of an HVAC system, plotting and analyzing with statistics has its limitations. Just visualizing the plot becomes impossible for a human as we go from a single plane to hyperplanes as shown below.
 
MSRI | Hyperplane arrangements and application
 
The Need for AI
For multivariate analysis, visual inspection starts to go beyond human capabilities while technical analysis goes beyond statistical capabilities. Instead, AI can be utilized to find patterns in the underlying data in order to learn normal operation and adequately monitor for outliers. In other words, for multivariate analysis AI starts to make the impossible possible.
 
Summary
Statistics and probability has been around far longer than anyone reading this post. However, not all data is created equal and in the world of industrial IoT, statistical techniques have crucial limitations.
 
AI-based techniques go beyond these limitations helping to reduce false positives/negatives and often times making robust analysis possible for the first time.
 
At Elipsa, we build simple, fast and flexible AI for IoT. Get free access to our Community Edition to start integrating machine learning into your applications.
 
Read more…

Is it not amazing how we all started living in a hyperconnected world without even realizing it? It all started with internet access on smartphones. Now we have digital assistants that can turn on the lights and set the preferred temperature at home even before we arrive. We can work, have fun, and socialize through our phones and connected devices. Now the cities are embracing advanced technology to inter-connect various functions and improve the usage of infrastructure, energy, utilities and public services to elevate the quality of living. This digital phenomenon that we are experiencing in our day to day lives is the Internet of Things (IoT).

What is IoT?

Internet of things is popularly known as IoT. IoT refers to a hyperconnected digital ecosystem where human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction is enabled through the internet network. The machines, humans, objects are allotted Unique Identifiers (UIDs) through which they can interact, perform within the digital ecosystem.

For example, a sensor installed in the farm may alert the farmer when soil moisture is not within the normal range or anything else that requires the farmer’s urgent attention. Similarly, a chip in the car’s tire may alert the driver when the pressure is low. This may save him from a flat tire. Or it can be as simple as your refrigerator telling you to bring milk home when you run out of milk.

In the IoT universe, everything is assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) address. This IP enables them to communicate and transfer data they acquire from their surroundings using an IoT gateway or devices.

What Does the Future Look Like?

A projection by Statista suggests that the market of IoT will breach the benchmark of 1 trillion USD in 2030. It indicates more than 100% growth just within a decade. The study further suggests that the number of IoT connected devices worldwide will triple during this period. IoT technology and devices will be consumed in almost all industry verticals and consumer markets.

Statista forecasts that by 2030, the world will have more than 8 billion IoT devices. IT will be mainly used in electricity, gas, steam, AC, water supply, waste management, retail, wholesale, transportation and storage and government functioning. Currently, smartphones are the most used devices for IoT, but the future will see several innovative devices that will transform the experience of living.

IoT will usher in an era of connected vehicles, payment terminals and automation that will reduce human intervention in the day-to-day process and elevate the quality of life by creating an efficiently connected world.

How will IoT Impact Businesses?

An assessment from GlobalData’s Thematic Research indicates that giants like Tesla, Amazon, Qualcomm, Samsung have realized the importance of IoT way before the others and they are best positioned to take optimum advantage of this technology especially in the automotive sector.

Statista’s report suggests that businesses across the globe are embracing IoT to increase cyber security, reduce operational costs and improve efficiency. In 2019 only, 120 billion USD were spent on IT security. Worldwide governments have also increased their spending after smart city initiatives and IoT technology.

These developments indicate that IoT is a major emerging trend. The companies that will match steps with the changing trends will have a competitive advantage over others. If you own a business, the time to look for an IoT solution company is NOW.

What to Expect?

  • A brighter, environment-friendly future:

While reducing human intervention and providing enhanced personal autonomy, IoT companies are also working towards finding sustainable, environment-friendly solutions. Several IoT companies are working towards creating a future with minimized waste and optimized use of energy. This is done by predicting maintenance activity, reducing downtime and finding ways to reuse and recycle. In smart cities, waste management is a segment wherein IoT is greatly contributing.

  • Better security:

From your baby monitor to your digital locker to your car, everything will be connected through IoT devices for an enhanced living experience and better security. At present, many IoT devices such as wearables do not have strong security measures in place. The more connected world is also prone to cyber attacks from many directions. The IoT companies are actively working to enhance the safety and security of IoT devices. This suggests that in near future, we will be living in a more secure digitally interconnected world.

  • Confluence of technologies:

IoT connects people, devices, systems but when it is combined with other emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), it can work wonders. For example, AI can provide valuable insights from the data collected by IoT devices. Without it, the data is of no use. The tech companies are merging IoT with various technologies like AI, ML (Machine Learning) to get actionable insights to derive optimum benefits.  

  • Decentralized network:

More connected devices also mean more pressure on the cloud infrastructure and rising maintenance costs. Realizing this emerging challenge, tech companies have already started looking for alternatives to a centralized network to reduce dependency on a single network. Experts believe that the blockchain approach will prove to be a game-changer.

In a nutshell, IoT is a prominent, inescapable technology trend that is going to shape the way we live and work. If you want to be a frontrunner, the sooner you embrace it, the better.

Read more…

By Bee Hayes-Thakore

The Android Ready SE Alliance, announced by Google on March 25th, paves the path for tamper resistant hardware backed security services. Kigen is bringing the first secure iSIM OS, along with our GSMA certified eSIM OS and personalization services to support fast adoption of emerging security services across smartphones, tablets, WearOS, Android Auto Embedded and Android TV.

Google has been advancing their investment in how tamper-resistant secure hardware modules can protect not only Android and its functionality, but also protect third-party apps and secure sensitive transactions. The latest android smartphone device features enable tamper-resistant key storage for Android Apps using StrongBox. StrongBox is an implementation of the hardware-backed Keystore that resides in a hardware security module.

To accelerate adoption of new Android use cases with stronger security, Google announced the formation of the Android Ready SE Alliance. Secure Element (SE) vendors are joining hands with Google to create a set of open-source, validated, and ready-to-use SE Applets. On March 25th, Google launched the General Availability (GA) version of StrongBox for SE.

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Hardware based security modules are becoming a mainstay of the mobile world. Juniper Research’s latest eSIM research, eSIMs: Sector Analysis, Emerging Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2021-2025, independently assessed eSIM adoption and demand in the consumer sector, industrial sector, and public sector, and predicts that the consumer sector will account for 94% of global eSIM installations by 2025. It anticipates that established adoption of eSIM frameworks from consumer device vendors such as Google, will accelerate the growth of eSIMs in consumer devices ahead of the industrial and public sectors.


Consumer sector will account for 94% of global eSIM installations by 2025

Juniper Research, 2021.

Expanding the secure architecture of trust to consumer wearables, smart TV and smart car

What’s more? A major development is that now this is not just for smartphones and tablets, but also applicable to WearOS, Android Auto Embedded and Android TV. These less traditional form factors have huge potential beyond being purely companion devices to smartphones or tablets. With the power, size and performance benefits offered by Kigen’s iSIM OS, OEMs and chipset vendors can consider the full scope of the vast Android ecosystem to deliver new services.

This means new secure services and innovations around:

🔐 Digital keys (car, home, office)

🛂 Mobile Driver’s License (mDL), National ID, ePassports

🏧 eMoney solutions (for example, Wallet)

How is Kigen supporting Google’s Android Ready SE Alliance?

The alliance was created to make discrete tamper resistant hardware backed security the lowest common denominator for the Android ecosystem. A major goal of this alliance is to enable a consistent, interoperable, and demonstrably secure applets across the Android ecosystem.

Kigen believes that enabling the broadest choice and interoperability is fundamental to the architecture of digital trust. Our secure, standards-compliant eSIM and iSIM OS, and secure personalization services are available to all chipset or device partners in the Android Ready SE Alliance to leverage the benefits of iSIM for customer-centric innovations for billions of Android users quickly.

Vincent Korstanje, CEO of Kigen

Kigen’s support for the Android Ready SE Alliance will allow our industry partners to easily leapfrog to the enhanced security and power efficiency benefits of iSIM technology or choose a seamless transition from embedded SIM so they can focus on their innovation.

We are delighted to partner with Kigen to further strengthen the security of Android through StrongBox via Secure Element (SE). We look forward to widespread adoption by our OEM partners and developers and the entire Android ecosystem.

Sudhi Herle, Director of Android Platform Security 

In the near term, the Google team is prioritizing and delivering the following Applets in conjunction with corresponding Android feature releases:

  • Mobile driver’s license and Identity Credentials
  • Digital car keys

Kigen brings the ability to bridge the physical embedded security hardware to a fully integrated form factor. Our Kigen standards-compliant eSIM OS (version 2.2. eUICC OS) is available to support chipsets and device makers now. This announcement is a start to what will bring a whole host of new and exciting trusted services offering better experience for users on Android.

Kigen’s eSIM (eUICC) OS brings

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The smallest operating system, allowing OEMs to select compact, cost-effective hardware to run it on.

Kigen OS offers the highest level of logical security when employed on any SIM form factor, including a secure enclave.

On top of Kigen OS, we have a broad portfolio of Java Card™ Applets to support your needs for the Android SE Ready Alliance.

Kigen’s Integrated SIM or iSIM (iUICC) OS further this advantage

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Integrated at the heart of the device and securely personalized, iSIM brings significant size and battery life benefits to cellular Iot devices. iSIM can act as a root of trust for payment, identity, and critical infrastructure applications

Kigen’s iSIM is flexible enough to support dual sim capability through a single profile or remote SIM provisioning mechanisms with the latter enabling out-of-the-box connectivity, secure and remote profile management.

For smartphones, set top boxes, android auto applications, auto car display, Chromecast or Google Assistant enabled devices, iSIM can offer significant benefits to incorporate Artificial intelligence at the edge.

Kigen’s secure personalization services to support fast adoption

SIM vendors have in-house capabilities for data generation but the eSIM and iSIM value chains redistribute many roles and responsibilities among new stakeholders for the personalization of operator credentials along different stages of production or over-the-air when devices are deployed.

Kigen can offer data generation as a service to vendors new to the ecosystem.

Partner with us to provide cellular chipset and module makers with the strongest security, performance for integrated SIM leading to accelerate these new use cases.

Security considerations for eSIM and iSIM enabled secure connected services

Designing a secure connected product requires considerable thought and planning and there really is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. How security should be implemented draws upon a multitude of factors, including:

  • What data is being stored or transmitted between the device and other connected apps?
  • Are there regulatory requirements for the device? (i.e. PCI DSS, HIPAA, FDA, etc.)
  • What are the hardware or design limitations that will affect security implementation?
  • Will the devices be manufactured in a site accredited by all of the necessary industry bodies?
  • What is the expected lifespan of the device?

End-to-end ecosystem and services thinking needs to be a design consideration from the very early stage especially when considering the strain on battery consumption in devices such as wearables, smart watches and fitness devices as well as portable devices that are part of the connected consumer vehicles.

Originally posted here.

Read more…

Selecting an IoT Platform

The past several years have seen a huge growth in the number of companies offering IoT Platforms. The market research firm IoT Analytics reported 613 companies offering IoT platforms in 2021! This is a mind-blowing number. The IoT platforms vary widely in capabilities but typically focus on one or more of the building blocks of IoT systems – physical devices, internet connectivity, and digital services. In one way or another, they provide software (or in some cases hardware too) that gives companies a head-start when building IoT systems. There are so many companies offering platforms that it is nearly impossible to keep up with all of them.

 Charting the right path, avoiding pitfalls, maximizing your success.

If you are getting into IoT and not familiar with IoT platforms, you might be asking yourself questions like –  What makes up an IoT platform? What advantages could they have for my company? How do I select an IoT platform? 

Let’s tackle these questions one by one. 

What makes up an IoT platform?
 

Features

True IoT platforms typically provide the following features:

  • Digital services running in the cloud that physical devices connect to
  • Software that runs on devices that communicates with the digital services
  • A framework or schema for data messaging and remote command & control of devices
  • Security infrastructure to handle device registration, authentication, security credential management
  • Tools and methods for updating device firmware over-the-air (OTA)
  • Web dashboards for viewing the state of devices and interacting with the system

IoT  platforms may or may not also provide other features, including:

  • Analytics tools and dashboards
  • Digital twins or shadows
  • Application deployment orchestration
  • Machine learning orchestration
  • Rules engines
  • Fleet management tools
  • Integrations to other services
  • Gateway or hub support for bridging devices to the cloud
  • Cellular network plans for devices
  • Web or mobile application interfaces and templates

Example Elements of an IoT PlatformIoT-Platform-Blog-General-1024x270.png

Types of IoT Platforms

IoT platforms are not all the same. Their features and target use-cases vary a lot. However, at a high level, they can be grouped into two main categories.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Offered by the big cloud service providers

PaaS platforms provide building blocks to do most things an IoT system needs, but it is up to you to write the custom code that connects it all together. With a PaaS provider, you don’t have to worry about underlying server hardware, but you have to compose their services into a working architecture and manage the deployment of applications that use their services. This is more work but allows more flexibility and the opportunity to customize the system to your needs. Ongoing costs of a PaaS IoT platform are typically lower than a SaaS, but expertise is required to ensure correct usage patterns to avoid larger costs. The big cloud providers all offer PaaS IoT platforms. This includes Amazon Web Services (AWS)Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Software as a Service (SaaS) – Offered by numerous software vendors, large and small

With a SaaS provider, you get access to use the software application they deploy and manage for you. Or you can license it and deploy it yourself. SaaS platforms typically provide some configurability and integrations with other systems. There is much less work on the cloud side as this is mostly taken care of for you. However, you are limited to the features that the IoT platform provider offers. You may need to invest more in bridging the platform to your other systems. Depending on your use case, a SaaS may provide more advanced features out-of-the-box than a PaaS. Ongoing costs are likely to be higher with SaaS IoT platforms. Examples of SaaS IoT platform providers include PelionLosantFriendly TechnologiesSoftware AGBlynkParticleThingsBoard, and Golioth.

What advantages could they have for my company?

Benefits of IoT Platforms – There are a lot.

The goal of IoT platforms is to provide a foundation for product-makers to build IoT solutions on top of.  IoT platforms take care of all the fundamental features that all solutions need (e.g. “the plumbing”), so you can focus on adding value with the differentiating features that you add on top. Users of IoT platforms get a huge benefit from economies of scale – especially if using the most popular platforms. This translates into improved security, more robust services, and lower costs. For these reasons, we always recommend using an IoT platform.

How do I select an IoT platform?

The Big Question – Should you use a PaaS or SaaS?

At SpinDance, we believe in lean and agile business principles. This usually translates into taking a staged approach and focusing on different priorities in each stage. IoT is a journey, not a destination. We have seen the most success when companies tackle each of their challenges in stages, don’t try to do too much too quickly, and don’t lock themselves into long-term decisions too early. Choosing whether to use a PaaS or Saas depends on the stage you are in along your IoT journey.

Our Answer – It depends on your stage in your IoT journey. 

The-IOT-Journey-Graphic-White2-scaled-e1641320879831-1024x553.jpg

If you are just starting on your IoT journey…

In the disconnected stage your main goals are to learn what technology can do for you, develop a vision for your new product or service with that knowledge, and evaluate your vision based on customer input. At this stage, you shouldn’t be worried too much about scale or efficiency. You need to nail down the problem you want to solve and the solution you propose to solve it with. Ash Maurya, entrepreneur and author of Running Lean, says that “Building a successful product is fundamentally about risk mitigation.” To evaluate and reduce your risk, you need to test your assumptions.

We often recommend building Proof of Concepts and Prototypes in this stage. These experiments are crucial to help you quickly validate the feasibility, desirability, and viability of your plans. They also help rally your organization and potential customers around new possibilities.

SaaS IoT platforms have their most advantage in this stage. They can help you get devices connected and data flowing quickly because they typically have more features ready out-of-the-box. However, since your knowledge about the future is limited at this stage, we recommend you avoid long-term commitments so you don’t get stuck with a solution that doesn’t work for you down the road.

 If you are working on your first connected product…

In the connecting stage, you should have some confidence in your problem-market fit and you should have a better idea of what benefits IoT can bring to your business. Now you need to build a system to deal with the rigors of production. You also need to adapt your organization to support your new product or service.

We recommend shifting your focus to creating robust experiences for your customers spanning across the physical devices and digital interfaces they interact with. You need to consider the other parts of the system such as mobile applications, web applications, database storage, operations dashboards, etc that you’ll need for your customers and your internal teams to interact with the system.

PaaS IoT platforms start to have a strong advantage in this stage. More often than not, we see the needs of the company outstretch the features provided by a SaaS. Therefore, there is a need to augment the capabilities of the SaaS platform or bridge it to your other systems. For example, if a SaaS IoT platform does not provide long-term data storage, you will need to create a bridge that pulls data from the platform’s service and puts it into a database that you control in the cloud. Maintaining and monitoring this bridge is non-trivial which may lead to you wanting to consolidate everything into your existing cloud. For reasons like this, we typically recommend PaaS platforms at this stage.

If you already have connected products out in the market…

The connected or accelerating stages are all about maximizing the benefit of IoT, taking advantage of the valuable data you are likely getting, and aligning your costs to revenue. You should be focused on scaling up your system while you improve your connected customer relationships and build up new processes and skills. These are not insignificant tasks. It takes in-house expertise. Your team needs to understand your systems, be able to improve efficiencies and optimize costs. You’ve got to get data to the right place when you need it, and it has to drive reliable actions across all your infrastructure.

PaaS IoT platforms offer the most advantage at this stage. You have more control of your systems and are not locked into a specific software platform. You have the ability to customize and have tighter integration with your existing systems. This lets you adapt and evolve to meet the needs of your customers over time.

Which production architecture works for you?

Considering the needs of your production system likely go beyond the needs of your prototypes and minimum viable product (MVP), it is best to think about what additional features you will need to augment the capabilities of your selected IoT platform. The diagrams below show the difference between augmenting a SaaS platform versus a PaaS platform.

An IoT System Built Around SaaS Platform
IoT-Platform-Blog-Bridge-to-SaaS-1024x385.png

An IoT System Built on a PaaS PlatformIoT-Platform-Blog-PaaS-1024x444.png

What else should be considered when choosing an IoT Platform?

When selecting an IoT platform, you are also choosing an ecosystem to join. This has ramifications that go beyond just the platform. Consider the following questions:

  • What device types are already supported / how easy is it to support the devices I need?
  • How close does the platform fit my use-case?
  • How easy is it to get started and use?
  • What skills do I need on my team to utilize the platform?
  • Will my team get the support we need to succeed?
  • Is the service reliable / highly available / trustworthy?
  • What additional features and services will I have to develop?
  • What systems do I need to integrate with? How easy is that?
  • What will my ongoing costs be for the IoT platform as well as other systems I need to maintain.
  • What happens if I want to change to a different IoT Platform?
  • Am I building the skills and knowledge we need inside my organization to succeed in the future?

Jumpstarting your IoT Systems with Starter Components

Building a system based on a PaaS platform offers a lot of flexibility and control. But you are faced with configuring and deploying your own applications to get your system running. There are a lot of reasons why you don’t want to create things from scratch. You need a head start. You need to follow good patterns and industry best practices. So, what should you do?

We believe that starter components, a.k.a. solution templates, solution implementations, etc, offer a great jumpstart to standing up a robust system. The big cloud companies know this and offer templates for various use-cases. These can be used in any stage of the  IoT Journey. For example, AWS has a Smart Product Solution solution implementation that features capabilities to connect devices, process and analyze telemetry data, etc within a scalable framework. A fundamentally great feature of this is that it is based on AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) which means it can be programmatically deployed in minutes. Microsoft Azure has similar solution examples that can also be deployed and tested relatively quickly.

Additionally, there are a lot of benefits from working with a solution provider that has experience with IoT systems and can offer good guidance and support. SpinDance recently collaborated with our partner TwistThink to build Auris Cloud, a set of customizable IoT components that capture our combined years of experience working on IoT systems. Auris components are customizable to meet the needs of many different types of use cases and are deployable on AWS. Things like security, performance, and scalability are baked into the system. Auris can be optimized for different performance and cost models, integrated with other systems, and deployed as an application that you control. We believe this approach offers a great trade-off between fully custom and off-the-shelf solutions.

Summary

At SpinDance, we don’t recommend you try to build an IoT system from scratch. There are great solutions available from both SaaS and PaaS providers. They offer massive benefits in enabling you to build secure and scalable IoT solutions. However, we recommend you consider your organization’s goals and the stage you are in before locking yourself into an IoT platform. Be sure to start with your customer needs and build backward. Prototype and get things right before scaling. A SaaS IoT platform can be great for building proof of concepts or prototyping but may not work for you long term. For maximum customization, flexibility, and tighter integration with your other cloud applications we recommend a PaaS IoT platform. And for the lowest risks and maximum benefits, we recommend using pre-built components that can be customized to your needs.

Read more…

Experts believe that smart parking management systems aid you in generating more income. Let's find out!

It doesn't take rocket science to understand why consumers avoid brick and mortar shopping at all these days. Understand, parking issues have been a sole reason for people to avoid going to shopping malls. 

As customer behaviour changes, shopping centres have come under immense pressure to find car parking problems in their shopping malls. Every effort is made to improve and enhance the traditional shopping experience, ultimately driving the revenue. 

Every minute a customer spends looking for parking is one less minute they have to shop.

So let's get into why experts believe that the smart parking management system will cater best to your needs.

Smart Parking Booking System: The Need of an Hour

What does a smart parking management system mean?

A smart parking management system using IoT is simply a that incorporates IoT technologies. Technologies such as sensing devices identify which parking area is empty, and often these give you a real-time parking map.

What Are the Issues Faced by the Customers While Parking Their Vehicles? 

  • Saturated Parking Spaces- The most significant problem today is the number of vehicles is rising, and the parking space remains the same. Thus, resulting in clogging. 
  • Overpaying- Sometimes, drivers/ customers are unaware of the duration they will stay at a particular place. Therefore, they sometimes overpay the parking charges. 
  • Environmental Impacts - Parking lots accumulate a lot of pollutants that do not get absorbed and hence flushed into the water bodies during rain. 
  • On-street or Off-street parking- The customer does not get sufficient space in the mall's parking lot or their destined location. These again cause heavy traffic jams. 
  • Insufficient use of existing parking space- People are always in a hurry, and thus they do sometimes lack patience. At times, they do not park properly. As a result, there is insufficient space for other vehicles to park.

So How Does a Smart Parking Management System Aid You?

The smart parking system with IoT works like a boon for your parking system. The problems in parking seem to be resolved with these parking problems. Here are the benefits of a smart parking management system.

  • Won't it be great for customers to find a parking spot before they leave their house? Well, parking systems using IoTprovide you with these benefits. They can check and also book their parking lot before leaving their home.
  • Once a customer enters the parking space, they are easily navigated to their allotted parking spot.
  • The reduction in traffic, as the driver is clear about the designated location.
  • One can get data to tell them the forecasted peak times and give frequent reports about the current situation.
  • Stop paying extra dues; with smart parking, one can pay real-time payments and electronic payments, making a seamless experience.

As a result, this increases the value of customers' shopping trips. Moreover, their productivity also increases while maximizing their shopping experience and lowering their fuel cost.

Features of Smart Parking System

If you have thought of integrating a smart parking system into your enterprise, it's vital to update yourself with the necessary features to enhance the experience. 

  • In-door Navigation
  • Wallet Management
  • Live Reports
  • Automated Pass Management
  • Penalty and Violation Management
  • Revenue Analysis
  • Zone Management
  • Booking Management
  • Car Counters
  • Vehicle Identification 

A Glimpse of Challenges Faced During the Smart Parking Management System Project

Here is the list of problems faced through the implications of the smart parking project. 

The primary issue while implementing a smart parking management system is that many sensors have to be connected to the internet to get information for a single booking slot. You need to have an array of routers, and that seems a bit troublesome. 

However, all the sensors are internally connected and can work individually without being connected to the internet with the mesh connection

So, only a specific sensor is connected to the internet, passing the information to all other sensors. It works excellent as other routers don't need an internet connection. 

Secondly, what if the navigation shown to the users is inaccurate? Your customer can reach other locations, which can be a bit troublesome. 

With the proper implementation of a parking control system, you can keep the hardware when there are turns, leading to fewer misleads. Also, one should use pixel by pixel to draw a path between the hardware. This works as a perfect solution that would lead to bare minimum errors. 

Such minor technicalities are a boon for your automated parking management system. However, it would be best if you had experts who are well versed with these systems and can guide you perfectly for the proper implementation of the projects.

What Are the Components Used in the IoT Smart Parking System?

  • A sensor is vital as it detects the presence of vehicles.
  • A microcontroller that will aid you to process your data.
  • A cloud platform for storing the data.
  • A mobile application that would give you control over this process of smart parking. 

What Does the Future Hold?

The smart parking management system has begun to accelerate its demand. With the limited land resources, smart parking seems the only viable solution. 

Think for a while that it's impossible to create space for parking. Therefore, instead of thinking about making extra parking spaces, an effective technology-based solution works great for the situation. 

You can optimize the spaces available at their best. One should be careful about how you will implement these solutions.

Being a leading IoT application development company, we offer the best smart parking management solutions.

Our clients trusted us, and we have never failed them or ever will. For any guidance, you can connect with our executives and clarify your doubts.

FAQs

What Is the Purpose of a Smart Parking System? 

In layman terms, the purpose of smart parking systems is to reduce the time and hassle caused to people while parking their vehicles.

How Many Types of Parking Are There?

There are four types of parking; these are (i) Parallel Parking, (ii) Angled Parking, (iii) Perpendicular Parking & (iv) Double Parking.

How Does a Smart Parking System Work?

Smart parking is a cost-effective and most efficient way of giving real-time information to users. The sensors installed in the pavements detect space and notify the user. Thus, one can know the availability of the parking spaces.

What Are the Advantages of a Parking Management System? 

  • Provides more protection.
  • Easily managed.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Real-time information.
  • Increased footfalls
  • Less pollution
  • Fewer traffic issues
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Progressive web apps are the next big thing for the mobile web today. It was by Google in 2015 and since then it has already attracted a lot of attention as it offers relative ease of development. This is with instant wins for the application’s user experience. You would agree a progressive web app is simply a web app installed on devices to deliver a user experience that is similar to that associated with native apps. Think of a PWA as a combination of web apps and native apps; they serve to ease the usability of a given app across a variety of devices. One of the biggest advantages PWAs offer is that they help companies target multiple platforms in one go. But what does any of that have to do with IoT? Why don’t you read on and find out?

1. Better user experiences: Given the usability of IoT and the many, many benefits it brings to the table, it ought to come as no surprise that IoT-driven apps are used across not only different industries but also different departments within any given industry. So what role do PWAs play here? Well, PWAs help ensure seamless workflows via service workers as well as their ability to manage device caches. In this context, PWAs also help deal with challenges related to data latency; this means users gain the ability to pause their task and be able to resume from right where they left off.
2. Improved security: In the general digital world, security is one of the biggest concerns as is. So imagine how much more important it becomes when we talk about IoT. Unsurprisingly, IoT apps necessitate high levels of security measures to avoid the risk of hacks, data breaches and safeguard data. To that end, TLS makes sure that the delivery of PWAs is executed via secure HTTPS connections to assure the security of the data. Plus, PWAs also keep secured and unsecured content on web pages distinct, thus further closing any gaps in the security of distributed networks.
3. Engaging design: The thing about the Internet of Things is that it involves a continued exchange of data to enable the requisite control over devices and processes from wherever the users may be. Now, for IoT to truly achieve its potential, the apps involved in the process must be responsive and users should be able to access the required data from across devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. As you can imagine, building an app for each of such devices and then countless different screen sizes, OS platforms, hardware capabilities, etc. within these subsets is not an easy task. Thankfully, we have PWAs to help address this particular problem and ease IoT development projects.

The business world is becoming decidedly complex on account of the rapid evolution of technology. Thankfully, the market has plenty of solutions that empower companies to keep up with the times. The union of two of such leading technologies, i.e. Progressive Web Apps and the Internet of Things, is among these solutions that stand to empower companies to not only survive but also thrive in today’s cut-throat market. As demonstrated via the discussion above, the duo can, together, help companies offer substantially improved user experiences, achieve robust levels of security, and so much more. If you too want to leverage the might of this union for your business, then we recommend you start looking for a web app development team right away. Their expertise will prove to be invaluable to the success of your company’s endeavors.

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In my last post, I explored how OTA updates are typically performed using Amazon Web Services and FreeRTOS. OTA updates are critically important to developers with connected devices. In today’s post, we are going to explore several best practices developers should keep in mind with implementing their OTA solution. Most of these will be generic although I will point out a few AWS specific best practices.

Best Practice #1 – Name your S3 bucket with afr-ota

There is a little trick with creating S3 buckets that I was completely oblivious to for a long time. Thankfully when I checked in with some colleagues about it, they also had not been aware of it so I’m not sure how long this has been supported but it can help an embedded developer from having to wade through too many AWS policies and simplify the process a little bit.

Anyone who has attempted to create an OTA Update with AWS and FreeRTOS knows that you have to setup several permissions to allow an OTA Update Job to access the S3 bucket. Well if you name your S3 bucket so that it begins with “afr-ota”, then the S3 bucket will automatically have the AWS managed policy AmazonFreeRTOSOTAUpdate attached to it. (See Create an OTA Update service role for more details). It’s a small help, but a good best practice worth knowing.

Best Practice #2 – Encrypt your firmware updates

Embedded software must be one of the most expensive things to develop that mankind has ever invented! It’s time consuming to create and test and can consume a large percentage of the development budget. Software though also drives most features in a product and can dramatically different a product. That software is intellectual property that is worth protecting through encryption.

Encrypting a firmware image provides several benefits. First, it can convert your firmware binary into a form that seems random or meaningless. This is desired because a developer shouldn’t want their binary image to be easily studied, investigated or reverse engineered. This makes it harder for someone to steal intellectual property and more difficult to understand for someone who may be interested in attacking the system. Second, encrypting the image means that the sender must have a key or credential of some sort that matches the device that will decrypt the image. This can be looked at a simple source for helping to authenticate the source, although more should be done than just encryption to fully authenticate and verify integrity such as signing the image.

Best Practice #3 – Do not support firmware rollbacks

There is often a debate as to whether firmware rollbacks should be supported in a system or not. My recommendation for a best practice is that firmware rollbacks be disabled. The argument for rollbacks is often that if something goes wrong with a firmware update then the user can rollback to an older version that was working. This seems like a good idea at first, but it can be a vulnerability source in a system. For example, let’s say that version 1.7 had a bug in the system that allowed remote attackers to access the system. A new firmware version, 1.8, fixes this flaw. A customer updates their firmware to version 1.8, but an attacker knows that if they can force the system back to 1.7, they can own the system. Firmware rollbacks seem like a convenient and good idea, in fact I’m sure in the past I used to recommend them as a best practice. However, in today’s connected world where we perform OTA updates, firmware rollbacks are a vulnerability so disable them to protect your users.

Best Practice #4 – Secure your bootloader

Updating firmware Over-the-Air requires several components to ensure that it is done securely and successfully. Often the focus is on getting the new image to the device and getting it decrypted. However, just like in traditional firmware updates, the bootloader is still a critical piece to the update process and in OTA updates, the bootloader can’t just be your traditional flavor but must be secure.

There are quite a few methods that can be used with the onboard bootloader, but no matter the method used, the bootloader must be secure. Secure bootloaders need to be capable of verifying the authenticity and integrity of the firmware before it is ever loaded. Some systems will use the application code to verify and install the firmware into a new application slot while others fully rely on the bootloader. In either case, the secure bootloader needs to be able to verify the authenticity and integrity of the firmware prior to accepting the new firmware image.

It’s also a good idea to ensure that the bootloader is built into a chain of trust and cannot be easily modified or updated. The secure bootloader is a critical component in a chain-of-trust that is necessary to keep a system secure.

Best Practice #5 – Build a Chain-of-Trust

A chain-of-trust is a sequence of events that occur while booting the device that ensures each link in the chain is trusted software. For example, I’ve been working with the Cypress PSoC 64 secure MCU’s recently and these parts come shipped from the factory with a hardware-based root-of-trust to authenticate that the MCU came from a secure source. That Root-of-Trust (RoT) is then transferred to a developer, who programs a secure bootloader and security policies onto the device. During the boot sequence, the RoT verifying the integrity and authenticity of the bootloader, which then verifies the integrity and authenticity of any second stage bootloader or software which then verifies the authenticity and integrity of the application. The application then verifies the authenticity and integrity of its data, keys, operational parameters and so on.

This sequence creates a Chain-Of-Trust which is needed and used by firmware OTA updates. When the new firmware request is made, the application must decrypt the image and verify that authenticity and integrity of the new firmware is intact. That new firmware can then only be used if the Chain-Of-Trust can successfully make its way through each link in the chain. The bottom line, a developer and the end user know that when the system boots successfully that the new firmware is legitimate. 

Conclusions

OTA updates are a critical infrastructure component to nearly every embedded IoT device. Sure, there are systems out there that once deployed will never update, however, those are probably a small percentage of systems. OTA updates are the go-to mechanism to update firmware in the field. We’ve examined several best practices that developers and companies should consider when they start to design their connected systems. In fact, the bonus best practice for today is that if you are building a connected device, make sure you explore your OTA update solution sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you may find that building that Chain-Of-Trust necessary in today’s deployments will be far more expensive and time consuming to implement.

Originally posted here.

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4 key questions to ask tech vendors

Posted by Terri Hiskey

Without mindful and strategic investments, a company’s supply chain could become wedged in its own proverbial Suez Canal, ground to a halt by outside forces and its inflexible, complex systems.

 

It’s a dramatic image, but one that became reality for many companies in the last year. Supply chain failures aren’t typically such high-profile events as the Suez Canal blockage, but rather death by a thousand inefficiencies, each slowing business operations and affecting the customer experience.

Delay by delay and spreadsheet by spreadsheet, companies are at risk of falling behind more nimble, cloud-enabled competitors. And as we emerge from the pandemic with a new understanding of how important adaptable, integrated supply chains are, company leaders have critical choices to make.

The Hannover Messe conference (held online from April 12-16) gives manufacturing and supply chain executives around the world a chance to hear perspectives from industry leaders and explore the latest manufacturing and supply chain technologies available.

Technology holds great promise. But if executives don’t ask key strategic questions to supply chain software vendors, they could unknowingly introduce a range of operational and strategic obstacles into their company’s future.

If you’re attending Hannover Messe, here are a few critical questions to ask:

Are advanced technologies like machine learning, IoT, and blockchain integrated into your supply chain applications and business processes, or are they addressed separately?

It’s important to go beyond the marketing. Is the vendor actually promoting pilots of advanced technologies that are simply customized use cases for small parts of an overall business process hosted on a separate platform? If so, it may be up to your company to figure out how to integrate it with the rest of that vendor’s applications and to maintain those integrations.

To avoid this situation, seek solutions that have been purpose-built to leverage advanced technologies across use cases that address the problems you hope to solve. It’s also critical that these solutions come with built-in connections to ensure easy integration across your enterprise and to third party applications.

Are your applications or solutions written specifically for the cloud?

If a vendor’s solution for a key process (like integrated business planning or plan to produce, for example) includes applications developed over time by a range of internal development teams, partners, and acquired companies, what you’re likely to end up with is a range of disjointed applications and processes with varying user interfaces and no common data model. Look for a cloud solution that helps connect and streamline your business processes seamlessly.

Update schedules for the various applications could also be disjointed and complicated, so customers can be tempted to skip updates. But some upgrades may be forced, causing disruption in key areas of your business at various times.

And if some of the applications in the solution were written for the on-premises world, business processes will likely need customization, making them hard-wired and inflexible. The convenience of cloud solutions is that they can take frequent updates more easily, resulting in greater value driven by the latest innovations.

Are your supply chain applications fully integrated—and can they be integrated with other key applications like ERP or CX?

A lack of integration between and among applications within the supply chain and beyond means that end users don’t have visibility into the company’s operations—and that directly affects the quality and speed of business decisions. When market disruptions or new opportunities occur, unintegrated systems make it harder to shift operations—or even come to an agreement on what shift should happen.

And because many key business processes span multiple areas—like manufacturing forecast to plan, order to cash, and procure to pay—integration also increases efficiency. If applications are not integrated across these entire processes, business users resort to pulling data from the various systems and then often spend time debating whose data is right.

Of course, all of these issues increase operational costs and make it harder for a company to adapt to change. They also keep the IT department busy with maintenance tasks rather than focusing on more strategic projects.

Do you rely heavily on partners to deliver functionality in your supply chain solutions?

Ask for clarity on which products within the solution belong to the vendor and which were developed by partners. Is there a single SLA for the entire solution? Will the two organizations’ development teams work together on a roadmap that aligns the technologies? Will their priority be on making a better solution together or on enhancements to their own technology? Will they focus on enabling data to flow easily across the supply chain solution, as well as to other systems like ERP? Will they be able to overcome technical issues that arise and streamline customer support?

It’s critical for supply chain decision-makers to gain insight into these crucial questions. If the vendor is unable to meet these foundational needs, the customer will face constant obstacles in their supply chain operations.

Originally posted here.

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Many businesses are already taking advantage of IoT solutions to improve their efficiency and create new revenue streams. However, if you're considering launching a connected business, one of the most important factors to contemplate is the cost of IoT software implementation. This article will give you an overview of what goes into IoT software development and maintenance. 

Different factors feed into the cost, but the two most common concerns for companies getting into IoT are the cost of initial software development (or “integration”) and ongoing expenses after devices have been deployed. Unfortunately, as key stakeholders ponder over the ever-present build vs buy dilemma, the ones who lean towards building often tend to underestimate both significantly.

Let's take a look at a minimum set of software products you would need today to run a connected product, business, or service. First of all, firmware - software that is uploaded and then runs on the hardware. It provides a low-level control for the device's specific logic. Networks and connectivity – it's a part of firmware development, but I would move it into a separate domain, crucial for any IoT implementation.

Cloud is any service made available to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider's servers. The IoT servers have different purposes, like administration, monitoring, data gathering and analysis. Applications - once the device is connected, in today's reality you would need a user interface to interact with the device or service, configure it, control and monitor remotely, visualize processes, etc. It can be a touch control, a mobile app, a web app, a voice app (e.g. Amazon Alexa skill), etc.

Working with deployed connected products also usually requires two different types of apps: customer-facing applications (remote control, automation settings, maintenance alerts) and applications for internal company use (fleet management, analytics, device health tracking, performance tracking and maintenance alerts). And one thing is to offer an app, and a totally different thing is to build an app people will actually love to use. The latter requires a particularly strong UI/UX expertise in addition to the expected front-end, back-end and QA resources. 

As part of an IoT solution, you'll need additional storage capacity and processing power to perform analytics, run reports, and house the vast amounts of data that will be generated. Invoicing for these capabilities can vary—from a fixed monthly cost to metered billing—so make sure you understand the pricing model to anticipate cash flow better.

Various IoT platforms offer parts of the solutions for the software needs mentioned above. However, it often takes at least 3-5 different vendors to get everything an IoT powered business needs. Not only is it challenging to manage so many vendors, but also the costs really start adding up, making IoT implementation and maintenance pricing prohibitive for many companies, especially the smaller ones.

Fortunately, there are now options like Blynk IoT platform that have launched solutions tailored specifically at small businesses and startups. As a result, engineers and entrepreneurs worldwide can build and commercialize connected products without the heavy investment typically required to start an IoT-enabled business. Anyone with an MCU, some coding skills, and a great product idea can create an IoT business. And their monthly software costs will be less than what they pay for a typical TV subscription in the US.

Out-of-the-box, Blynk is supposed to cover 90-100% of software needs a business typically faces in the first 2-3 years of IoT operations. The platform functionality includes device provisioning and management, data hosting in the cloud, mobile and web apps for customers and staff, firmware over-the-air updates, user and organization management, data analytics, all kinds of automations and much more.

 

IoT software - build or buy?

As you can see, building your own IoT software from scratch is not a cheap endeavor, especially with a team based in the USA. If you have all of the right people on board and have a bulletproof ROI model for your IoT investment - go for it, build in-house. But if you are an OEM whose main focus remains on their core products and you care about optimizing costs and your time to market - then you are probably better off leveraging a solid IoT platform. Those folks have already spent those years (and in most cases, millions) building out the software you need and testing it out with real clients, in real world conditions, with all of the priceless learnings that come with that.

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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, as the name suggests, enable a company, no matter the industry, to better plan the use and management of its resources and achieve seamless operations. Such solutions, when integrated with the Internet of Things (IoT), i.e. a network of connected devices that enables the exchange of data in real-time, can work wonders in the manufacturing sector. No, really. Now, if you are wondering why that is, allow us to demonstrate via some key benefits of this duo.

  1. Better management of assets: Perhaps one of the best things about technologies and their evolution that helped businesses tend to their assets, machines, and equipment much better than before, i.e. not wait to tend to it till it has broken down and rendered unproductive, even if temporarily so. But thanks to IoT sensors embedded in such assets, it becomes that much easier to identify any wear and tear, any issues, etc. across their lifetime. These factors are then flagged to the ERP software, which then further informs the appropriate teams and people responsible for the maintenance of such assets. This allows companies to undertake preventive maintenance, thus prolonging the life of their assets. It also helps ensure that operations are not interrupted since maintenance work can be scheduled in a manner to prevent or minimize downtime.
  2. Access to real-time analytics: As the basic idea of IoT suggests, what they do is double up as a source of 24x7 information. They glean data collected from the sensors and then channel said data into the requisite systems. This ability to collect data at all times, from all the connected devices, means manufacturing businesses can process the data through ERP systems to gain access to highly valuable information such as market trends, processes that might need improvements, any possible quality issues, and so much more. Such information, in turn, drives much more informed strategies and marketing-related decisions and that too in real-time.
  3. Improved quality control: Quality is typically one of the key concerns on the priority list of any business involved in manufacturing, no matter what it is that one may be making. Of course, this is where long-established, archaic quality checks would come in, but the problem is that it is quite time-consuming, prone to high levels of human error, etc. This problem, thankfully, is easily addressed with an IoT-integrated ERP solution, which can empower companies and their management to better the quality of their offerings via round-the-clock monitoring of their production processes.

As the world and the technologies around us continue to evolve at a dizzying pace, ERP solutions have emerged as the crowd favorite for all modern businesses. Now, as evidenced from the above discussion, the said popularity of enterprise software development, fortified with advanced technologies such as IoT, artificial intelligence, etc., can bring a world of benefits to manufacturing companies as well as those operating in other sectors across the globe.

Hence, driving the demand for such solutions further up. With that being said, if you too wish to make use of all the aforementioned benefits and countless others such as automation, better levels of customer service, and more, you know the integration of ERP with IoT is the right way forward.

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Have tyou ever imagined you would one day wake up to news that technology is influencing an industry as offbeat as fashion? Well, here we are in this phase of tech evolution, where we would soon get to wear apparel not from clothing lines like Gucci or Saint Laurent but probably from companies like Apple, Samsung, Google or more.

Yes, smart clothing seems to be the future of wearable technology that kickstarted with ambitious projects like Google Glass. Today, we have first generation Iot wearable technology devices like smartwatches, health monitors, FitBits and more but soon, we will have clothing with embedded sensors that will connect to the internet.

Wearable fashion or smart clothing will be part of the Internet of Things revolution and soon give us insights on our vitals, temperature, hydration levels and bring in a range of predictive analytics concepts into our everyday life.

Excited?

We are, too and that’s why we decided to publish a post that explores what smart clothing is and how it is redefining conventions.

Let’s get started.

Smart Clothing Is The Future Of The Wearables Industry

Let’s start with some numbers. Statistics from the World Economic Forum revealed that around 10% of the people around the world will wear clothes that connect to the internet by 2025. 

This is a really good sign for the smart wearable technology industry. And if you’ve been wondering if this concept is something new or fresh, it’s not. Smart clothing has been a micro niche for a long time with several sports companies like Nike and Adidas rolling out very specific lines of smart clothes for sports purposes. What is new is the approach of mainstream commercialization of smart clothing. 

The idea is to embed IoT-specific peripherals like sensors, batteries and more into the fabric of clothes and connect the entire ecosystem to an app for visualization of diverse insights. With the app, consumers can also execute a couple of fancy actions like changing the design or color of their apparel in real time, change hues and do more.

To give you a quick idea of how remarkable the concept of smart clothing is, here are some pointers:

Smart clothing is highly beneficial in keeping track of vitals in people. Technology is also being developed to monitor the accumulation of brain fluids in real time and report stakeholders and doctors about consequences.

  1. The predominant use of smart clothing lies in the sports industry, where several metrics could be monitored by coaches of individual players and the entire team to reach fitness and tournament goals.
  2. From a manufacturer’s perspective, fraudulent and unauthentic copies of labels and apparels can be eliminated from the market through codes and layered validation mechanisms.
  3. Patients in hospitals could wear smart clothing to track their recovery, reactions to medications, notify or call for nurses and doctors and more.
  4. People suffering from dementia or Alzheimers could sport smart dresses to enable their friends and families to track them from a distance.
  5. Adventurers, spelunkers, high-altitude trekkers and more could also benefit from smart clothing with details on oxygen levels, anticipated temperature, location tracking modules, hydration levels, humidity sensors and more.

Though this looks futuristic and ambitious, the biggest challenge for the smart clothing companies would be to incorporate IoT solutions into their fabrics. The human body consistently generates sweat and heat and there are chances that water from sweat could damage batteries or sensors embedded in the clothes. When we fix these concerns and deliver optimized outfits, smart clothes could very well be what we wear to work every day in the coming years.

Smart Fashion Products In The Market

Like we mentioned, smart clothes are in development and some products are actually available in the market as prototypes. Tons of Kickstarter campaigns are exploring the limitless possibilities of smart fashion as well. For a better clarity on what the products are, here are some real world examples. 

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Smart Jackets

The best product in development is the smart jacket. Since 2015, two market players - Google and Levi’s - have been collaborating to launch smart jackets with touch-sensitive fabric. In this, capacitive threads made of copper have been developed and used as the jacket’s fabric to allow users to use their smartphones by just using their hands and gestures. 

Minority Report vibes anyone?

Smart Socks

An inevitable accessory, socks have always been in our wardrobes.Smart socks are here to replace the conventional ones and give you a more immersive experience. 

What could be immersive in socks you ask? 

Well, smart socks could sense the pressure you put on your foot when walking, calculate your walking speed, the distance you cover (and could cover) and offer a detailed visualization of insights from multiple data points. This could influence the way you walk as well.

Smart Shoes

If we’re making our socks smart, why leave behind shoes? Somebody out there had a similar thought and the result is a pair of shoes that tracks your fitness, speed, pressure and most importantly, lets you control your television using your feet. All you have to do is extend your foot, point at something on your television and press a button. We’re sure there would be more experiences added to the product as it evolves.

Smart Sleepwear

Sleep has always been a concern for most of us. While some of us oversleep, a few of us hardly get good sleep. There are tons of factors influencing our sleep including our sleeping positions, stress and anxiety levels and more. 

Smart sleepwear, however, is here to fix our broken and disconnected sleep patterns by giving us insights on breathing, heart rates, sleep positions and more. The best part is that you don’t have to wear an additional wristband for this. The fabric has embedded devices that take care of its intended purposes.

Is Smart Clothing The New-Age Market Wearable?

Wearable tech plays a crucial role in the tech space because it’s probably something that could be the most integral to people. Conventional wearable technology devices like wristbands, smartwatches, eyewear and more appear and function as extensions but that’s not the case with clothing.

It is us and who we are. From a consumer’s perspective, there’s no challenge involved whatsoever in maintaining smart clothes. It’s on companies to develop and launch products that could take in the regular wear and tear of humans and be resistive to it, be washable and more. 

If these preliminary challenges are taken care of seamlessly by companies, smart clothing could easily become the new-age market wearables in the future. It’s similar to what electric vehicles are to the automotive industry. 

Wrapping Up

This is an exciting time to be alive and innovations like these are proof of our collective wisdom taking us to a new level. Let’s wait and see if our favorite clothing brands join the smart clothing bandwagon and launch personalized clothing just the way we would like it individually. Also, let’s see what more innovation is waiting on the cards in this space.

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With a lot of buzz in the industry, the Internet of Things, a.k.a, IoT, has successfully gained traction. Confused about what an IoT is? Don't be because you have been using it literally in your everyday life, and if not you, then definitely someone you know, for example, smartwatches, fitness devices, self-driving cars, smart microwaves, etc.

An IoT is a network of connected devices where the data and information are interlinked in a way you might not know!

Now that the concept of IoT is briefly cleared, let's see how it could become the fifth revolution in the dairy industry.

2018 has seen a fourth industrial revolution, which was a new step in the production, automatization, and computerization of the processes by using the data provided by the IoT devices. One might think this concept is only used in industries like health & fitness or electronics, but the revolution is no less in agro.

As per a study, in 2016, an agro-tech company received a massive amount of $3.2 billion investment. This provides enough evidence to show the growing graph of the need for digitalisation in every aspect of dairy farming.

 

Why is the need for smart dairy farming?

 

With the vastly growing industry, it has become the need of the hour to be up-to-date with the essential technology for the growing competition. To keep up with the healthy living of the livestock, it is essential to prevent any illness by diagnosing it at an earlier stage.

For 97% of the U.S. dairy farms, it is more than just their source of income and is a family-owned business. This also means that most of them have been into livestock farming for generations, but the business is not the same as decades before.

Smart dairy farming using IoT can become revolutionary solutions to improve farm capacity, reduce animal mortality and increase dairy output.

To meet the growing demand for dairy with the increasing population, especially in the developed countries, better tools and specialized equipment are required. IoT integrated smart-collars serve the purpose.

 

How does the smart collar work?

 

The smart collar is a complete IoT-enabled cattle management system with a physical product linked with a digital screen.

The cattle tracking device with an inbuilt GPS gives a real-time location of the cattle and sends the signals to the owners every quarter of an hour.

The collars get connected with the routers installed near the farming field, where they will get signals from.

The vital sensitive devices will be bridged to the collar strap, continuously providing reports over the software dashboard screen. As the belt is installed, the data gets transferred and stored in the form of graphs and charts.

 

What are the benefits of smart dairy farming using IoT?

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Auto-Milking Process

 

Manual milking is a time-consuming process; instead, it also includes more staffing. IoT embedded smart collar belts can resolve the problem more efficiently with less manpower by introducing auto milking.

Since auto-milking is just a robotic system and is entirely automated, it is unaware of the temperature and any diseases affecting the cattle. The machine will yield all the cattle at the same time, the same way.

When we link IoT to the cattle, essential factors are looked upon, which otherwise can get ignored if done manually.

Temperature monitoring, disease tracking, and nutritional requirements are few, tracked down with a smart belt, and helps better quality milk production.

 

Tracking the heat cycle

 

Manually yielding milk to a cow that is not at its heat cycle would lead to low fertility. To continue the best quality milk, cattle must give birth to one calf a year to maintain the lactation period.

A lactating cattle undergo heat every 21-28 days but, is it possible to know that manually and that too accurately? It can be do-able but can take a lot of time.

The heat can stress down the cattle leading to lower milk production and, if yielded simultaneously, can further reduce the fat, protein, casein, and lactose content in milk.

To prevent such errors, smart collars would send alarms to the owner on its dashboard screen. It will notify when is the right time to yield, resulting in better milk production. 

 

Tracking the movement with GPS

 

The tracking collars installed with the GPS will give real-time data allowing individuals to know the accurate information and location of the animals.

The smart collar works best in the field of around 5-10 cattle, as each of them will work as a personal tracker and give owners a whole valuable time to focus on one livestock full time.

Investing over manpower comparatively seems less costly at the start. Still, as time passes by, IoT for cattle becomes a sustainable option and can help your business grow bigger in no time. 

 

Health tracking

 

Healthy eating leads to a healthier life. It works the same in all living entities on the planet. Many studies and experts say that "rumination in cattle is an indicator of health and performance"

The traditional method of visual analyses of ruminations was a process that required a workforce and was performed only when on the field. This is also limited to a particular population level; hence, the chances of errors increase.

What does one get to know about every cow's health quality by sitting idle at a comfortable place? The IoT-enabled software system will track individual cow's rumination data and will help producers to invite when one needs more attention.

Although visual observations can be trusted to access rumination activity in a cow, this method may not provide an accurate result when the challenge arrives to observe at a population level. It would hamper the health standards of the cattle. 

 

Decrease mortality with security alerts

 

What if one needs to know how much grazing a cow did on that particular day? It can only be possible by manually observing it. Furthermore, how to analyse if the rumination is being done effectively?

Monitoring the changes and behaviors of the herd is one of the most significant and time-consuming tasks.

Using IoT devices, such as smart neck belts, it gets easier to monitor fishy cattle movements. The belt sends alarms any time it detects that something is "Off."

The sensors will be embedded in the neck strap around the cow's neck, which will help farmers personally supervise the cow's movement and respond accordingly.

Smart sensors will automatically gather and store the data and will help farmers prevent any growing health issues. 

 

Control Disease Outbreaks

 

These speechless living are never going to deal with their health issues on their own. So whether or not there are any suspicious changes in their behavior, they are very likely to miss out upon some diseases.

The only way left to inspect the diseases is mostly by diagnosing yourself, which is almost certainly going to risk many other cattle lives too.

Lameness, foot and mouth disease, mastitis, and milk fever are some of the most common fatal diseases in cattle. These all can be avoided early and can save farmers from troublesome and financial crashes in the future.

The system will alert the farmer when it needs assistance with the help of an embedded smart vital monitoring device in the collar.

 

In the nutshell

 

In the world of "connecting everything," it not only connects the devices but information and data which can circulate within a span of milliseconds. So why not use the advantages of such devices when it comes to some unexpected outcomes?

Traditional methods of cattle farming are good enough. But, they might cripple milk quality and lead to a massive loss of cash flow if not looked upon. Cattle farming is not an easy job. It needs 24 hours of continuous monitoring and observations to have a successful income.

An IoT is a real-time data collection, precisely a replacement of manpower but a more refined version of it. By introducing the "smart cow" concept, the time and labor are reduced, and productivity increases.

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By Ashley Ferguson

Thanks to the introduction of connected products, digital services, and increased customer expectations, it has been the trend for IoT enterprise spend to consistently increase. The global IoT market is projected to reach $1.4 trillion USD by 2027. The pressure to build IoT solutions and get a return on those investments has teams on a frantic search for IoT engineers to secure in-house IoT expertise. However, due to the complexity of IoT solutions, finding this in a single engineer is a difficult or impossible proposition.

So how do you adjust your search for an IoT engineer? The first step is to acknowledge that IoT solution development requires the fusion of multiple disciplines. Even simple IoT applications require hardware and software engineering, knowledge of protocols and connectivity, web development skills, and analytics. Certainly, there are many engineers with IoT knowledge, but complete IoT solutions require a team of partners with diverse skills. This often requires utilizing external sources to supplement the expertise gaps.

THE ANATOMY OF AN IoT SOLUTION

IoT solutions provide enterprises with opportunities for innovation through new product offerings and cost savings through refined operations. An IoT solution is an integrated bundle of technologies that help users answer a question or solve a specific problem by receiving data from devices connected to the internet. One of the most common IoT use cases is asset tracking solutions for enterprises who want to monitor trucks, equipment, inventory, or other items with IoT. The anatomy of an asset tracking IoT solution includes the following:

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This is a simple asset tracking example. For more complex solutions including remote monitoring or predictive maintenance, enterprises must also consider installation, increased bandwidth, post-development support, and UX/UI for the design of the interface for customers or others who will use the solution. Enterprise IoT solutions require an ecosystem of partners, components, and tools to be brought to market successfully.

Consider the design of your desired connected solution. Do you know where you will need to augment skills and services?

If you are in the early stages of IoT concept development and at the center of a buy vs. build debate, it may be a worthwhile exercise to assess your existing team’s skills and how they correspond with the IoT solution you are trying to build.

IoT SKILLS ASSESSMENT

  • Hardware
  • Firmware
  • Connectivity
  • Programming
  • Cloud
  • Data Science
  • Presentation
  • Technical Support and Maintenance
  • Security
  • Organizational Alignment

MAKING TIME FOR IoT APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT

The time it will take your organization to build a solution is dependent on the complexity of the application. One way to estimate the time and cost of IoT application development is with Indeema’s IoT Cost Calculator. This tool can help roughly estimate the hours required and the cost associated with the IoT solution your team is interested in building. In MachNation’s independent comparison of the Losant Enterprise IoT Platform and Azure, it was determined that developers could build an IoT solution in 30 hours using Losant and in 74-94 hours using Microsoft Azure.

As you consider IoT application development, consider the makeup of your team. Is your team prepared to dedicate hours to the development of a new solution, or will it be a side project? Enterprise IT teams are often in place to maintain existing operating systems and to ensure networks are running smoothly. In the event that an IT team is tapped to even partially build an IoT solution, there is a great chance that the IT team will need to invite partners to build or provide part of the stack.

HOW THE IoT JOB GETS DONE

Successful enterprises recognize early on that some of these skills will need to be augmented through additional people, through an ecosystem, or with software. It will require more than one ‘IoT engineer’ for the job. According to the results of a McKinsey survey, “the preferences of IoT leaders suggest a greater willingness to draw capabilities from an ecosystem of technology partners, rather than rely on homegrown capabilities.”

IoT architecture alone is intricate. Losant, an IoT application enablement platform, is designed with many of the IoT-specific components already in place. Losant enables users to build applications in a low-to-no code environment and scale them up to millions of devices. Losant is one piece in the wider scope of an IoT solution. In order to build a complete solution, an enterprise needs hardware, software, connectivity, and integration. For those components, our team relies on additional partners from the IoT ecosystem.

The IoT ecosystem, also known as the IoT landscape, refers to the network of IoT suppliers (hardware, devices, software platforms, sensors, connectivity, software, systems integrators, data scientists, data analytics) whose combined services help enterprises create complete IoT solutions. At Losant, we’ve built an IoT ecosystem with reliable experienced partners. When IoT customers need custom hardware, connectivity, system integrators, dev shops, or other experts with proven IoT expertise, we can tap one of our partners to help in their areas of expertise.

SECURE, SCALABLE, SEAMLESS IoT

Creating secure, scalable, and seamless IoT solutions for your environment begins by starting small. Starting small gives your enterprise the ability to establish its ecosystem. Teams can begin with a small investment and apply learnings to subsequent projects. Many IoT success stories begin with enterprises setting out to solve one problem. The simple beginnings have enabled them to now reap the benefits of the data harvest in their environments.

Originally posted here.

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